Tritium unveils vision for electric vehicles


Electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging technology developer Tritium has released a white paper that provides a glimpse into the near future of electric vehicle technologies.

The launch of the White Paper – titled “New Plug and Charge technology will improve the EV driver experience and provide an innovation platform for operators to build upon” – follows on from the company’s unveiling of the world’s first-to-market availability of its Plug and Charge solution which ensures Tritium’s PK175-350 DC High Power/Ultra-Fast Chargers can automatically charge the driver’s battery and payment account simultaneously without a need for a card swipe or RFID tag.

The white paper forecasts a future in which the electric vehicle will become a payment platform in itself, capable of paying for various services in much the same way the smartphone does today.

Tritium’s head of market strategy and paper author, Nathan Dunlop, said the technology which enables Tritium’s Plug and Charge solution – on the charger side and soon on the vehicle side – will lead to EVs being able to pay for everything from vehicle and home energy usage, and even enable payment for things like car washes or groceries.

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“As it is secure and utilises advanced cryptographic techniques, we believe the vehicle will follow a similar technology roadmap to the smartphone which is no longer just a phone, but a tap-and-go payment method and an essential device beyond its ability to simply make calls,” he said.

“The technology behind Plug and Charge will lead to automakers, charge point operators and utilities innovating new offerings and re-defining how the EV is used – it won’t be seen simply as a method from getting from A to B, but a way to interact with and/or pay for C.”  

Dunlop says there are three prominent examples of EV innovation, which will soon stem from the enablement of the Plug and Charge standard.

“First, you’ll see the charging interaction move into an in-vehicle experience, with the ability to set charge speeds and cost limit preferences all from the comfort of the vehicle,” he said.

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“Secondly, we see a ‘Vehicle as a Service’ bundles emerging, in which charging fees, and ongoing vehicle loan finance being bundled into a convenient payment plan. A further extension would be to package all of the customers energy use into one bill, including their vehicle and home energy usage.

“Finally, yet perhaps most interestingly, is the idea of the vehicle as a credit card payment device, a ‘tap and go’ on wheels. If the vehicle itself is a validated payment mechanism the vehicle effectively becomes a rolling payment medium via the stored cryptographic information in the vehicle.

“As the ecosystem around the vehicle evolves, the use cases of the vehicle as a payment medium extend far further than solely charging services. For example, a drive-thru restaurant payment may become touch free, with limited human interaction.

“Ordering could be managed through in-vehicle applications, or voice commands. Identification, authentication, and payment can then be centralised into a monthly vehicle spend.”

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